Tooth Talk with Brinkley Dental Group – Halitosis. (Hallo – what now?)

Happy New Year and welcome to another edition of Brinkley Blogs, brought to you bi-monthly, by your favourite Brampton family dentist and the team here at Brinkley Dental. It’s a new year and with a fresh new start before us, we thought what better time than now to talk about fresh breath? If you have a problem with halitosis, read on.

Hallo – what now? Many of our readers may not actually be aware of the technical term for bad breath. According to the many dictionaries we consulted, the definition of hal – i – to – sis is literally, “the technical term for bad breath.” Yes, it’s that simple! The reasons why one might suffer from halitosis might not be so simple however and can often mean much more than just having a bowl of garlicky pasta al olio! The causes of halitosis include: the consumption of certain foods, poor oral hygiene, alcohol or tobacco use, dry mouth, and it can sometimes be caused by certain chronic medical conditions. For some, it’s also true that they suffer from halitosis for no other reason than just plain old bad luck.

If halitosis is an ongoing concern for you, here are some things you can do to help prevent its onset and cover up its effects:

  • Brush regularly and vigorously.
  • Schedule regular dental appointments, particularly cleanings, in order to help prevent the build up of tartar, plaque and/or gingivitis – all of which can lead to halitosis.
  • Make sure you floss regularly as well to ensure any and all food particles are loosened and rinsed away each time you brush.
  • No one likes to be told to avoid certain foods but if you know they are a particular trigger for you and that their effects are long-lasting, you may wish to avoid them. Garlic and onions are an obvious trigger for most of us but so too, for some, are foods like: spicy dishes, curry, fish, some meat and dairy products (because of their dense proteins) and even coffee.
  • Dry mouth is often a trigger for halitosis and is caused by a variety of factors but one you might not suspect is alcohol. Alcohol causes the worst form of dry mouth, because the flow of saliva is substantially inhibited, as is the oxygen content of the mouth. In some cases, using a mouthwash that contains alcohol will exacerbate the problem rather than mask it.
  • It’s even possible that some sugary foods will make halitosis worse because they can promote bacteria in the mouth.
  • As for medical conditions that can lead to halitosis, if you suffer from ulcers, reflux or gastro-intestinal disorders like Crohn’s or Colitis and other diseases, you may find bad breath is something else you have to deal with in addition to your medical concerns.

Halitosis can be a real pain in the mouth. It can even be a sign of significant tooth decay. Whether you suffer occasionally, only after a hearty meal loaded with onions or it’s an ongoing issue, be sure to brush regularly and choose an antimicrobial toothpaste if you can. Always carry a bottle of water with you so you can drink, rinse and/or flush out the mouth regularly, avoiding a build up of toxic bacteria caused by dry mouth and of course, as we said above – make sure a regular visit with your Dental Practitioner is scheduled into your calendar at least two to three times in 2018! As always, thanks for reading and remember, ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”